Ambassadors, heads of foreign missions indicted for embezzlement in Auditor-General’s report

Some Ghanaian ambassadors and heads of missions abroad have been indicted in the 2013 Auditor-General’s report which lists a litany of cases involving embezzlement, misappropriation and causing financial loss.

The heads involved specifically relate to those in Germany, Iran, Israel, Zambia.

According to section 4 of Financial Guidelines for the operations of Ghana honorary consulate, all consular fees received should be paid monthly into a special account.

In the Warsaw Consulate, €23,295 in consular fees collected between 2009 to January 2010 could not be accounted for. An amount of €13,362.44 in refundable rent deposits which should have been refunded by two landlords, Michael Longard and Philip Holzachneider has gone unpaid since April 2012.

In Iran’s Tehran mission, Honorary Consul General Dr.Shahid Rashid Butt collected $12,144 in visa fees between March 2011 and 2012 but has failed to account for the amount.

The Mission in 2013 claims it spent over $5,800 on eight stranded Ghanaian boys brought to Iran by a Ghanaian football agent under the pretext of finding them professional clubs but there was no signatory to the beneficiary Ghanaians that this amount was spent on them.

H.E Ahmed Hassan also continued to receive child allowances meant for under 18year olds although his son Saani Hassan had turned 19 years 5months by 2013. He continued to receive €2,921 for 17 more months beyond the regulations.

In Israel, the Tel Aviv mission showed that although €304,905 had been transferred by the Controller and Accountant General as remittances to this mission, only €302,212 was received showing a shortfall of about €2,693.

The same practice was detected in Lusaka missions in Zambia where a remittance shortfall of $10,670 occurred between May 2012 and September 2013.

The Auditor-General has recommended that officials involved be made to refund the monies. Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline | Edwin Appiah |

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